So Friday afternoon, I get a text from the Work Daughter. Seems like she had an opportunity to come back for the long weekend and wanted to know if I had time to get together. I think she assumed I had plans and was busy but the good news is that we had a holiday today and so my day was wide open. So we set up a time to meet today.
Did I mention that she got engaged about a month ago? The last time she was here (March), there was talk of a boyfriend. I only embarrassed her a little by asking about him. Well, she was posted things from a trip they were taking on Instagram and, suddenly, there was a just a picture of her left hand with a ring. And, knowing her, that makes perfect sense because she wanted everyone to know but she doesn’t really like talking about herself that much.
And I naturally did what anyone else in my situation would do – cyber snooped on this guy given what little information she had in her post. Hey, what are father figures for anyway? From what I found and what she told me, I had a pretty good vibe about him.
She didn’t bring him along for coffee so it was just the two of us. Back in November, she was at a point in her life where things were unsettled and, at that age, you are out of college and supposed to be an adult and supposed to be making life plans. For some, it is easy. There are those who know what they want and are relentless planners and always moving towards a goal. For others (like the Work Daughter), the big question is figuring out what you want to do and taking anything is a risk because what if it is the wrong choice.
In March, she had been accepted to grad school and had started and I could see a change in her. There was still a lot of her talking herself into making sure that was the right decision. That leaving her job and going back to school made sense in the grand scheme of life. But I could tell she was in a better place.
One of the things that I know still bothers her is the atmosphere of where she lives. Now, we aren’t all like this but I think my part of the country has more of a reputation for being laid back, more easy going, perhaps friendlier. In other parts of the country, people are a bit more aggressive and they move faster (and talk faster). It can be a difficult adjustment. If you aren’t an outgoing type, it can be easy to just want to retreat to your space and stay the heck away from all the people outside. It can be easy to feel like an alien which is part of what was going on with her.
And that is still there, but, today, she really just radiated happiness. I know she wants to know what’s going on in my life and we talked about bit about that but then she was off to the races talking about everything that was going on with her. We talked briefly about the fiancee (no date has been set yet) and how college was going. She finished her first semester with no problems. The biggest thing is trying to find a job that will deal with her graduate student status meaning that she doesn’t have a lot of flexibility in hours. Tough when you are competing against people who don’t have that kind of restriction.
From the outside, we must look like an odd pair with the age difference and all. But, it just makes me happy that she still wants to share parts of her life with me. This was not a case of wanting advice like other conversations. This was just her talking about all that was going on and me listening and just feeling so happy that things seem to be falling in place for her. She is a rare combination. There is a sense of fragility about her but, there is a quiet strength and determination underneath.
It was funny, but at one point, we were talking about how things were going at my workplace which is full of uncertainty right now and she pops up about how whatever happens, it will be for the best. And that she believes that things happen for a reason. I’m not fully on board with that because sometimes bad and evil stuff seems to happen just randomly. But, there are times and places where two people just end up in the right place at the right time. I never would have predicted all of this from the first time we met when I was talking with a high school student about a part time unpaid position. But I am glad that our lives intersected. Some things do happen for a reason.